Scotland cannot hold another independence referendum without British consent, Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled

Can Scotland hold another independence referendum without UK approval? Independence Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already lifted the lid on the issue, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”, and even the date, 19 October 2023, when it intended to organize this new hearing. It remains to be seen whether this vote, which London opposes, would be legal.

The UK Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday 23 November by ruling that any new independence referendum launched without the UK government’s consent would be illegal.

The President of the Supreme Court, Robert Reed, explained his judgment, explaining that the judges had unanimously concluded that such a vote would have consequences for the union of Great Britain and therefore required an agreement from the central government to London.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Scotland and the Monarchy: Centuries of Complex Relationships

A debate revived by Brexit

Scots have already refused 55% in 2014 to leave the UK. But in the eyes of independents from the Scottish National Party (SNP), in power in Edinburgh, Brexit, opposed by 62% of voters in the province and which has since happened, has changed the situation. They want Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent state.

But the central government in London strongly opposes any further independence referendum and sees the 2014 vote as the end of the debate for a generation.

Anticipating a legal battle with the government in London, Nicola Sturgeon had therefore taken the lead in seizing the High Court so it could decide whether the Scottish Parliament had the power to legislate on the issue without the UK government’s consent. The separatist leader especially believes she has one “undisputed mandate” to organize such a vote.

Anticipating a High Court rejection, Nicola Sturgeon has already warned that she will make the next UK general election, due to be held in January 2025, a de facto referendum on the issue of independence. During the 2021 local elections, she had promised to organize a legally valid referendum once the page of the Covid-19 pandemic had turned.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Fiona Mozley: “By placing Scotland at the center of the grief, the Queen may have hoped to strengthen links between her two crowns”

The world with AFP

Leave a Comment